Atlanta Falcons blog 

Atlanta Falcons blog by the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter

COVER 9@9: Falcons must take Edwards’ advice: ‘Play to win the game’

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 9@9” blog will become all of the rage. You can read it here every Wednesday at 9 a.m. throughout the season. We’ll try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons from the Hometown Huddle to who blew that coverage against the Bears. -– D. Orlando Ledbetter)

1. THE 2002 NEW YORK JETS: The Falcons have to channel the spirit of the 2002 New York Jets in order to save their season.

This was the season that coach Herman Edwards gave his famous “You play to win the game” speech [More]

Playtime chart: Biermann’s snaps are decreasing

  • 11:03 am Monday, October 13th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons running back Antone Smith’s playing time increased by five percent against the Bears.

He played 11 of 56 snaps (20 percent). He played 11 of 72 of the offensive snaps (15 percent) against the Giants.

Prince Shembo, who started the two previous games, didn’t play from scrimmage. Apparently, the Falcons thought Joplo Bartu was a better matchup against Chicago running back Matt Forte.

The Falcons have started to cut Kroy Biermann’s snaps. He played 42 of 73 snaps (58 percent) against the Bears. He played 68 percent against the Giants and 75 percent against the Vikings.

Justin Blalock returned after missing a game [More]

REPORT CARD: Falcons’ offense is broken, defense is confused

  • 9:57 am Monday, October 13th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons turned in an absolutely pitiful performance and appear headed for another losing season.

“Our young players, our old players have all contributed to this, and we have to get it fixed, and nothing is off the table in regards to what we have to do to be better,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

The Falcons dropped to 2-4 after they couldn’t move the ball against a middle-of-the-pack Chicago defense that was playing without its starting linebackers. There were no Wilbur Marshall or Fridge Perry sightings at the Dome.

The offense is fractured and the defense continued to hemorrhage yards as they [More]

Cover 9@9: We have some football drama in the Branch

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 9@9” blog will become all of the rage. You can read it here every Wednesday at 9 a.m. throughout the season. We’ll try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons. -– D. Orlando Ledbetter)

1. WHO’S ON THE HOT SEAT?: Although HBO’s Hard Knocks cameras have left, it appears that we have some real football drama in Flowery Branch.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnists Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz have both  discussed the job security of head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff in the wake of the team’s [More]

VIDEO: D. Led — Falcons’ offensive shuffle

  • 11:33 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter & CineSport’s Brian Clark discuss Antone Smith’s role in the Falcons’ offense and Devin Hester’s emotions as

he prepares to face his former team on Sunday.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

GAME STORY: Giants storm back to beat Falcons 30-20

Falcons have not solved how to get Antone Smith the ball more

What the Falcons had to say after the loss to the Giants

Falcons lament blown scoring chances at the goal line

A sack but no victory in Osi Umenyiora’s homecoming

Playtime chart: Antone Smith played 15 percent of snaps

  • 6:02 am Monday, October 6th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Falcons running back Antone Smith played 11 of 72 of the offensive snaps (15 percent).

Offensive lineman James Stone played 3 of 72 snaps (4 percent) .

Also, rookie safety Dezmen Southward played 10 of 68 of the defensive snaps (15 percent).

He played in the team’s 4-2-5 big nickel package, which featured three safeties. He finished with three tackles.

“I felt good to get out there,” Southward said. “I felt like I made a couple of plays. I was pretty solid when I was out there, but at the same time playing this game is about winning and we [More]

REPORT CARD: Falcons offense misfires vs. Giants

  • 10:43 pm Sunday, October 5th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Falcons offense misfired in the redzone in the first half and the revamped offensive line and secondary collapsed in the second half.

All of that and the Falcons still had a double-digit lead with a little over 17 minutes to play.

The defense, after giving up 558 yards, held the Giants to 317 yards.

Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 30-20 lost to the New York Giants.

GAME BALLS: Julio Jones, who had 11 catches for 105 yards. Also, last go back to the Minnesota game and give tight end Levine Toilolo a game ball for sliding down [More]

Falcons need to use Antone Smith like Eagles use Darren Sproles

  • 9:45 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The NFL is copycat league and the Falcons needs to steal a few pages out of the Eagles playbook and use Antone Smith and/or Devonta Freeman like the Eagles are using Darren Sproles.

The former New Orleans Saint was a terror in space last night against the Colts. He had 11 touches for 178 yards. He had four rushes for 26 yards and caught seven passes for 152 yards.

He powered the Eagles to a 30-27 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Now, Sproles did get some lovely blocking on those screens.

If the Falcons can make those blocks, Antone Smith [More]

Hard Knocks sneak preview: The Toughness Crusade continues

  • 1:03 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON — HBO has posted a preview of tonight’s episode on their Facebook page.

It show Falcons coach Mike Smith telling the team he’s tired of hearing that the Falcons aren’t tough and that they are a tough football team.

The Toughness Crusade continues. . . .

He lauded Joe Hawley for defending the honor of a teammate, which resulted in him getting expelled from the practice with the Tennessee Titans. He thought that was a good penalty and hey, who wants to argue with that.

Here’s how this “toughness” issue got out of control.

Former Saints Heath Evans was saying he thought the Falcons [More]